The velocity of the car pressed my body against the seat with a force that felt impossible to fight. But, still I tried. Every muscle tense—as if working to hold my bones in place. I could hear his voice over the roar telling me my future—I would stay quiet, because no one would believe me. This vortex of force jolted me into silence with a potent tool: fear. Fear seeped into the ruminations of my teenage mind: fear of shame, fear of being judged, fear of his anger and hostility, and fear of losing my life. That fast car and … Read the full post
With Black History Month fast approaching, it is fitting to investigate the latest call to get rid of it. This investigation may seem futile to some feminists/womanists since we know denials of racism are part of life in white supremacy patriarchy. As a feminist theologian, however, I’ve got nothing in my tool kit if I lose my hope for redemption and transformation. The following is my attempt to not give up on the possibility that white supremacy culture can be dismantled. White patriarchy has all kinds of messengers of its narrative—not just white men of privilege, but anyone who has … Read the full post
Apparently, Donald Trump ventured into a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for worship on Sunday and heard The Rev. Dr. Pam Saturnia preach on the lectionary passage for the day, 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31a. He couldn’t have picked a better day to attend in times such as these. The passage for this particular Sunday was all about difference and all about beloved community. It sounds like Pastor Saturnia used it as a chance to talk about welcoming immigrants—a providential choice no doubt given the unexpected visitor to her congregation. Apparently Mr. Trump was especially taken with Paul’s language in 1 Corinthians about … Read the full post
Anyone sensitive to the present moods, morals, and trends in our nation must know that the time for racial justice has come. –Martin Luther King, Jr. August 5, 1962 Almost 54 years ago Dr. King wrote “The Case Against Tokenism,” a short essay published in the New York Times magazine. Its eerie resonance with America’s continued struggle with race hits me this year more than ever. 2015 was a year of wake up calls and reality checks on matters of race. Far from being a problem of our past, racism is an open wound of our present. It is a … Read the full post
Saturday evening, many of the University of Missouri football players took a stand against racism at their school. They said no more football until the University President resigns because of his failure to address both the overt and systemic racism that has repeatedly reared its head at UM. I hear a lot of white people (especially of the male variety), expressing “concern” and even anger that players would have the audacity to make such demands. They say they should have their scholarships revoked if they refuse to participate in team activities and games. This kind of reaction is just the … Read the full post
I am a contributor to the Feminism and Religion blog. Here is an excerpt of my most recent post. Thus, when enemies or friends Are seen to act improperly, Be calm and call to mind That everything arises from conditions. -Shantideva, Bodhicharyāvatāra The early Indian teacher, Shantideva, calls humanity to a deeper exploration of the people and situations we encounter. While it may sound simple, his invitation can be very difficult for American mentalities. He is asking us to look at something more complicated than the individual who acts; he is pointing us toward the causes and conditions that give … Read the full post
SERMON “MADE WELL” SCRIPTURE: PSALM 30, MARK 5:21-43 BETHANY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, LAFAYETTE, IN June 28, 2015 The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Preaching Often the lectionary seems to have providential timing—and this week is a startling example of the mysterious way God’s provisions weave their way through our lives. If there was ever a time when we need to attend to the details and contours of Jesus’ healing touch, it is this week in America. And healing is the main item of business in the passages the lectionary directed us to today. This week in America we’ve gotten to know … Read the full post
The Confederate Flag flying over the South Carolina capital building was a morally bankrupt phenomenon in our country long before nine great saints of the Christian church were martyred because they were black. What happened in Charleston was white supremacy terrorism. And what’s been happening in the institutions and in the soul of this country for centuries is white supremacy culture. It’s good for the Confederate Flag to come down. But, it’s not good enough. The soul work of the “American experiment” (as America was often called in my high school U.S. history class) is much more difficult, much more … Read the full post
I am just finishing up the first academic year of a three year collaboration with Vanderbilt Divinity School on bodies and healing. The blog post below, that is posted on the VDS Voices blog, shares some of what is emerging in our work together.
Surviving sexualized violence resonates with surviving violence of many kinds—especially violence that is personalized, violence that penetrates our flesh, our self-understanding, and our ability to connect with the world around us.
Survival skills are idiosyncratic, and they are often wise in ways we can only understand fleetingly. These survival skills can deaden and disconnect us. They can leave our nerve endings raw and exposed. And these survival skills permeate and help shape a world—a world that sometimes re-harms, sometimes supports, and oftentimes wants to move along as if everything is as it should be.
The ubiquity and idiosyncrasy of these survival skills means that anyone can be triggered by anything at any time. This statement may be jarring. (click here for the full post)
What if we stopped telling white lies? You know, the “little” lies that are supposed to be ok to tell because they are meant to soften the world, to be polite, to protect people’s feelings: like when someone asks you to go to the movies but you really don’t want to go with them so you say you are busy when you are not. Little white lies don’t hurt anyone, right? They are light, polite, and…. white. But, what if they are hurting someone, what if they keep us from a truth that we need to face—what if it is … Read the full post